Delft, The Netherlands, 15 Jul 2015

Solo Graduation in July

On 15 July Esther Kemunto Momanyi from Kenya had her graduation ceremony. This is a very unique story because she was the only student who graduated in the month of July due to a terrible traffic accident - her fellow students graduated in April.

Esther Kemunto Momanyi studied MSc Urban Water and Sanitation with a specialization in Sanitary Engineering. She began the MSc back in October 2013 and started her research in October 2014. Her research subject was Enhancing sludge hygienisation in anaerobic digestion of UDDT faeces. She fully expected to finish her research within 6 months. The reason why she graduated alone in July 2015 is unusual and unbelievable - read her story. 

"My research period had to be extended, because when I was back at Kenya for my research, I had a terrible traffic accident that led to me being hospitalized for a long time. I spent about 4 months in hospital and one month back at home, before I could resume my studies. It was made even more difficult because immediately after the accident, I lost my memory. I could not recognize my friends, not even my siblings. Thank God I recovered, and I can cope with the remaining minor challenges related to the accident. A very good progress, because I was able to resume my studies and carry on where I left off."

At first it was not easy for Esther to focus on her studies again. She wondered what was the point of continuing after all these experiences. "Am I going to make it with all the challenges, because sometimes I had severe headaches? Sometimes I would sit down to study, but after a few minutes I had a headache again and I had to sleep. The doctor warned me not to overdo it, so I wondered how I could study further, if I was not supposed to strain myself?" 

With practice, bit by bit, Esther began to study for longer, until she got back into her normal study pace. Now, Esther is about to leave the Netherlands and return to her country. She intends to apply for a job in Kenya with a specialization in Sanitary Engineering, before her MSc she had a Structural Engineering job. 

According to Esther, besides the academic knowledge, UNESCO-IHE gives you a lot of skills in life, handling strict deadlines, giving you tactics to handle the pressure. This trains you for the future workplace." I would encourage students not to give up, but to press on. The reward is worth the effort"

UNESCO-IHE congratulates Esther Kemunto Momanyi on her great achievement.

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